Design

25th March
2009
written by Tony
Is this about Jesus in Australia? Or is this a message to Australia?

Is this about Jesus in Australia? Or is this a message to Australia?

Recently my company did some work for the Nashville Advertising Federation for their 2009 Addy Awards ceremony. Unfortunately for Nashville, there aren't that many agencies, let alone good agencies, doing ad work. Let's just put this in perspective by saying that Bohan Agency won around 50% of the 213 gold and silver Addys awarded. Literally. I designed the artwork placards, so I know. Also, every time the announcer said "Gold Addy Award" we all thought he said "Go Daddy Award" (who knew this was an internet/hepcat event?). Anyway, there were a couple of standouts that both won Gold Addys that I wanted to share (see above, left, for number one) and are the reason I am starting a new category for the blog: the Bad Design Award. I've got nothing against Jesus, he sounds like a nice guy, but why is he in Australia? Why do I need to follow him there? I hope he flew coach, those tickets are pricey. Bring a camera? Or is this supposed to be read as "It all comes back to Jesus: Follow Him Australia" where the message is directed at the country itself? There was a whole campaign of these advertising Jesus doing various things in various countries (and parts of Australia) and not one of them made sense. But the real highlight of the night was this little chestnut: (more…)
18th March
2009
written by Tony

The end is near, I can sense it.

The end is near, I can sense it.

Steph and I were out at one of the malls in Nashville the other night wandering around aimlessly (as we do) when Steph said she would like to stop in BCBG and see what's the what. We were immediately off-put by the rather garish, 80s inspired window dressings, but decided to press on... until we came to the front entrance and saw the sight above. DEAR GOD what is this? Max Azria really, really thinks women will, or even should, wear this? If women start wearing these at all, even once, I'm going to lose my shit. Seriously. And these would be the perfect pants to be wearing if that were to happen.

I mean, maybe, if I was 70 years old and required an enormous adult diaper to contain the vast amounts of incontinence that wearing these pants would cause me to have all the time (from shame) then perhaps I would consider these mutated hospital bottoms as outerwear.

Apparently these $88.00 pants of shame are known as the Jersey Harem Pant. There aren't enough capital letters on the Internet to describe how much I hate these extra-ugly sweat pants. If you really want to throw up all over yourself, you can go check them out. You could pair them with this, and then change into this for the weekend. And then you could throw yourself into a ravine full of rabid weasels.

Normally I try to minimize obscenity in my posts (for all you sensitive souls out there) but...

Fuck you Max Azria.

p.s. I apologize for the quality of the camera phone image, I didn't have my nice camera with me because I never expected to see THIS at the mall. Or ever. JESUS.
10th March
2009
written by Steph
Noooooooooooooo! If you still need to check the results of this match-up, you can do so here.  But why bother?  It's so disappointing!  I guess when they compared the tournament to March Madness, they really meant the madness part! Tomorrow:  The White Tiger vs. Harry, Revised.  I'm not sure what to expect here.  I have a sneaking suspicion the judge might give it to Harry, but I guess we'll have to just wait and see (I've not read either book, so I have no strong feelings on this one!).
25th February
2009
written by Tony
The Silver is actually a little more lusterous than this and has the look of brushed titanium (it is all metal) rather than the cheap plastic this photo implies

The silver is actually a little more lusterous than this and has the look of brushed titanium (it is all metal) rather than the cheap plastic this photo implies

I’ve been looking for a suitable compact digital camera for a long time, in fact, I’ve been searching for one ever since I went digital in the first place. I have been a photographer for almost a decade now, and I love to shoot. When I finally went digital it was after a lot of research and experience with the various major brands. Four years later I’m still shooting my Canon 20D and see no reason to upgrade for a long time. The biggest drawback is the size of the camera. I love the image quality but I was immediately sick of dragging the big DSLR and its lenses around with me everywhere on the off chance that I might find something interesting to photograph. So I began a campaign to find the perfect point and shoot digital compact that compromised the least on image quality. I’ll admit that early on I was seduced by the slim, curvaceous ultra compact S9 from Nikon, a purchase I heavily regret. The image quality is abysmal and the lens is next to useless. So, as the new year broke I began to search again, in earnest. What I really wanted was something that would perform well in low light and had a good lens. This proved to be a remarkably small field of competitors. A note: I've peppered this article with some shots that I think are exemplary of unusually difficult lighting situations, and I think they give a good example of how flexible the camera is overall, as opposed to any considerations of presumed artistic merit (this is basically me saying I haven't had time to take really "artsy" shots yet, though the camera is one of the most fully featured point and shoots I have ever seen and is capable of doing really anything you want it to). Also, see the end of this article for a link to what I consider to be the best review (honest and thorough) out there concerning this camera. (more…)
23rd January
2009
written by Tony
Obama's campaign website

Obama's campaign website

The new White House website

The new White House website

I discovered today that there is a new whitehouse.gov, so I decided to check it out. You can see the screen shots above (click on the right side of the  expanded image to go to the next and the left to go to the previous to make a quick comparison between the two).  I have to say I am very pleasantly surprised by the continued outpouring of good design from Obama. As you recall, I was very impressed by Obama's first site and certainly like to attribute the use of best practices, design-wise, to some of (actually a lot of) his success. As I browsed through the new White House site several things struck me. (more…)
20th January
2009
written by Tony
I made this. Why does that matter? I'll tell you later.

I made this. Why does that matter? I'll tell you later (yes, I did the illustration myself).

This is a post for anyone who is going to or has worked with a designer. However, this is mostly a post dedicated to new and (to use a fine arts term) "naive" designers out there. And also to you experienced designers who haven't stopped to think about some of the things we do every day and why we do (or don't) do them. This is also a post that will touch on how I see the design world changing (briefly - I'm planing another post on where I see design going in the next 10 years) and what I think a good designer needs to know in order to stay relevant. This is going to be a long post. I have been designing for a little while now (going on 4 years as a "professional") and it recently hit me that I may finally know some of what I am talking about when it comes to design. I guess I had one of those moments, moments I assume all brilliant  designers have :), when I realized that my eye for good type and aesthetics has finally matured. The moment occurred when I was looking over some old work a former intern did and I started reading my comments for revisions. He was doing things with the type and layout that I know I did when I was a student and as I looked over my suggested changes I realized that I understood why I suggested them, and it wasn't just rote recitation or arbitrary preference. This lead me to think about design vernacular and realize just how much time and work goes into having a good design vocabulary. It's one thing to know what you should and shouldn't do, but entirely another to understand why. I believe that basic understanding of why is what really informs good design. (more…)
16th January
2009
written by Steph
Better than sitting on a cloud!

Better than sitting on a cloud!

It is probably no surprise that Tony and I have a shortage of book storage space in our current apartment.  Our shelves overfloweth, and we have books unconventionally wedged in every which way in order to keep them off the floor.  Because we rent, we can't put up wall-mounted shelves, and unfortunately we have used up all available space to place larger bookshelves. So really, the Bibliochaise (pictured right) is the PERFECT solution to our problems.  Apparently you can store up to five meters of books in this thing (an interesting way of quantifying books, to be sure), and it also doubles as seating, which we always need more of!  Can you imagine how great it would be to snuggle up in a chair to read, finish your book, only to grab a new one without even having to get up?  This is the stuff that dreams are made of.  My dream version would be the white wood pink leather combo (chocolate brown wood with lime green leather seating comes a close second).  What about you? (You can permute and combine colors by clicking this link.) Alas, it appears the Bibliochaise is only available in Europe, and with a hefty £3,500 pricetag, it's probably just as well and will have to remain a dream.  Tony claims he could construct such a chair of wonder for me, but for now I'll mentally tuck it away with all the other things with which to furnish my dream home.  How great will this look in my home library replete with built-in bookcases (also courtesy of Tony, naturally)?
23rd November
2008
written by Tony
I've got something you can do to yourself...

I can think of something you can do to yourself...

Recently I was wandering through a bookstore when a particular title caught my eye. Now I've seen this book before, and books like it, and every time I do, it kind of makes me want to find the author and use the book to do very illegal things myself (who needs professional criminals these days?). Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving money and cutting out the middle man, I mean, I'm a card carrying Sam's Club member. That's essentially a big screw off to traditional grocery stores. There is, however, a difference. It's not the money saving thing I don't like, it's not the personal initiative that bothers me. It's the mentality behind this kind of thing, this populist attitude that shouts "I know the only reason you're a designer is that you can use Photoshop!" Or even "anyone can take wedding photos, they just need a camera like yours, right?" Someone actually said the latter to me at a wedding that I was shooting, for money paid by the person saying it. My ideal response would have been, why have you hired me? Why am I even here if any jackass with a camera can do what I do? My actual response was more along the lines of: "If it were that simple, I don't think I would have gone to school for it." (more…)
23rd November
2008
written by Tony
Ah, clients. Perhaps this is the perpetual sigh of the designer. Certainly in my industry there is a rather unique relationship with the client, one that most other design, and even service related industries, are not saddled with. We design tradeshow booths. Like most people, when I started I had no idea what this even meant, or even that it is a 35 billion (!!) dollar industry (that's 35 billion American, buddy). So some of how we interact with potential clients was new to me. Most of it, actually. (more…)
5th November
2008
written by Tony
I've been following the election for some time now (ever since the party nominations gave me a reason to care) and have, until the eve of the election, generally ignored the candidate's websites. I've seen several comments from various respected news organizations on the idea that Obama ran a perfect campaign (or as close as one could come) and at least from an aesthetic point of view I'm inclined to agree. Obama did several things with the visual design of this campaign that few candidates have done in recent memory, several of which created quite a bit of interest in the design community. (more…)
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